The Apple AirPods Pro stand tall as our pick for the best overall true wireless earbuds right now. Apple's AirPods Pro take everything we love about the traditional AirPods and ramp things up a notch (or three). They sound better than all Apple earbuds before them, deliver excellent noise reduction, and add proper water-resistance (finally). What's more, these are the first Apple earbuds with swappable silicone ear tips, making it easy for just about anyone to get a comfortable fit. While battery life is middling at 4.5 to 5 hours (some competitors offer 10 hours or more on a single charge), the pocket-friendly charging case holds multiple recharges for 24 hours total listening time. In addition, quick charging provides an hour of listening in just five minutes, so you'll rarely need to worry about dead earbuds. In our lab tests, we found the AirPods Pro's noise cancellation was on par with pricier noise-canceling headphones, with a minimal hit to battery life. Their Transparency Mode is also among the most effective and natural-sounding we've experienced, allowing you to pipe in the outside world for those times you want to be aware of your surroundings.
Apple's revamped Powerbeats Bluetooth workout earphones take what was great from the firm's true wireless earbuds and add a cable, longer battery life and cheaper price. Powerbeats replace the older, more expensive Powerbeats 3, with redesigned ear hooks, cable guides and Apple's H1 chip, which simplifies Bluetooth connectivity and gives them all the AirPods-like features Apple's headphones have with iPhones. The design of the Powerbeats is pretty simple. Each earphone's body has an earbud sticking out of one side with a traditional silicone ear tip that twists into your ear canal. The other end has an hook that loops over the back of your ear, holding it in place and neatly guiding the cable backwards rather than in front of your ear like its predecessors.
The Jabra Elite 75t wireless earbuds are the follow-ups to some of the best Bluetooth earbuds of 2018, but now smaller, lighter and longer-lasting. A lot has changed in the world of true wireless earbuds since 2018. Competition is fierce with many good options, but few still manage the perfect combination of comfort, connectivity, case and sound. The new £170 Elite 75t promise to pick up where their Elite 65t predecessors left off: a cross-platform basic AirPod beater. The 5.5g earbuds fit much more comfortably, with a shape that slots into the concha and manages to avoid pressing on any of the soft bits of the ear.
This post was published in partnership with Wirecutter, the site devoted to finding the best gear and gadgets. Every product is independently selected by the Wirecutter team. We update links when possible, but note that deals may expire and are subject to change. If you buy something through our links, Slate and Wirecutter may earn an affiliate commission. After our tests of 26 sets of true wireless in-ear headphones, the Jabra Elite 65t is the only pair we wholeheartedly recommend. We found that most totally wireless earbuds remain a first-generation technology with a few kinks to work out--every other pair we tested had flaws in fit, functionality, convenience, compatibility, or a combination of all four. But the Jabra Elite 65t performed as well as or better than standard Bluetooth earbuds, with the added convenience of a totally cable-free experience. The Jabra Elite 65t is the first set of true wireless earbuds that we actually love because they sound great, they're comfortable, and they give you all the experience you expect from standard Bluetooth earbuds, with the bonus of no wires. Unlike many other true wireless earbuds, this pair has both volume and track controls as well as the ability to trigger your digital assistant. The four-microphone array works well to keep your voice sounding crystal clear over phone calls. The Elite 65t earbuds block out most outside noise but have a transparency mode so you can choose to hear your surroundings. Their five-hour battery life per charge is at the higher end of listening time between charges for this category--but still far shorter than the life of standard Bluetooth earbuds.
True Wireless headphones – those that you see in this guide – have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from your music player or phone, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us complete freedom. Wireless headphones on the other hand have existed for some time, basically since Bluetooth as a standard was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds – and sometimes a band around the neck too. If you don't want to ditch the cable completely, check our best wireless earbuds guide here.